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(Current as of January 2013)
(online at
Current Position and Address:
Graduate Assistant
Email: [email protected]
Office Phone: 740-593-1690
Department of Physics and Astronomy
251B Clippinger Laboratories
Ohio University
Athens, OH 45701
Ph.D. Candidate – Ohio University (expected completion: June 2013)
Advisor: Dr. Thomas Statler
B.S. – Carnegie Mellon University, Physics / Astrophysics, May 2006
Advisor: Dr. Richard Griffiths
Ph.D. Thesis Topic – Ohio University (current):
My current research explores the hydrodynamic history of elliptical galaxies, simulating various
prescriptions for interstellar gas cooling and AGN energy feedback against real X-ray
observations of ellipticals. The goal is to isolate those prescriptions which may be plausible, and
rule out those that are not. Simulations are executed with the massively parallel Tree-SPH code
Gadget2, which models fluid attributes of gas and dark matter as individual particles.
Graduate Research – Ohio University (Fall 2007-Spring 2008):
Studied the evolution of rotation rates of Near-Earth Asteroids (NEA). Used the 2.4-meter
telescope at MDM Observatory to obtain a series of 30-second r-band exposures for selected
NEAs. Because of asymmetries in the asteroidʼs shape, the amount of reflected sunlight changes
as a function of time; thus, the resulting light curve gives the asteroidʼs rotation period.
Research Experience for Undergraduates – Georgia Institute of Technology (Summer 2005):
Refined light curve and radial velocity data from the eclipsing binary star system MM Herculis.
Light curve data on this system was compiled for several colors in 1982, but better Fourier fitting
software was available in 2005. More accurate light curve allowed better determination of the
stellar masses involved.
Undergraduate Research – Carnegie Mellon University (Spring 2005, Fall 2005):
Catalogued ultra luminous X-ray data from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory and XMM-Newton
Observatory. Used the X-SPEC software to to fit various stellar models to the X-ray data from
two galaxies, identifying point sources which exceeded the Eddington luminosity.
Additional Research Interests:
Hydrodynamics and the hot interstellar medium of elliptical galaxies, AGN accretion and feedback
mechanisms, sub-resolution accretion physics
Courses Taught / Assisted:
Introductory Physics Lab (1): Algebra-based mechanics of solids and liquids. 15 undergraduates per lab.
Introductory Physics Lab (2): Algebra-based electricity, magnetism, heat, thermodynamics, waves, and
sound. 15 undergraduates per lab.
General Physics Lab (1): Classical physics with calculus and vectors. Newtonian mechanics, rotational
dynamics, gravitation. 15 undergraduates per lab.
General Physics Lab (3): Calculus-based capacitance, electric current and circuits, magnetism and
magnetic fields, electric induction, A.C. circuits, electromagnetic waves, geometrical optics,
interference, and diffraction of light. 15 undergraduates per lab.
Introductory Astronomy: General introduction to astronomy, with emphasis on structure of the universe
beyond the solar system.
Graduate Courses Completed:
Classical Mechanics
Electrodynamics I & II
Statistical Mechanics
Quantum Mechanics I & II
Math Methods of Physics I & II
Stellar Astrophysics
Astrophysics of the Interstellar Medium
Extragalactic Astrophysics
Observational Astrophysics Lab
General Relativity
Solid State Physics
Numerical Methods in Computer Programming
Programming Expertise:
Parallel MPI implementation, interpolation techniques, finite time differencing, numerical integration
methods, smoothed particle hydrodynamics, astronomical data reduction, Fourier analysis,
acceptance-rejection algorithms, weighted Voronoi tesselations, Kepler orbit computation
Languages: C/C++, Python, IDL, Fortran, IRAF, Shell script
May 3, 2012
Heating and Cooling in Elliptical Galaxies (Ohio University Student Expo)
Jan. 9, 2013
Oct. 10, 2012
Sept. 11, 2012
June 1, 2012
Oct. 12, 2011
June 8, 2011
Jan. 26, 2011
Nov. 10, 2010
Apr. 14, 2010
Mar. 16, 2009
Nov. 8, 2007
Oct. 17, 2007
Sept. 26, 2007
(available at
Simulations of Episodic AGN Feedback Conditions in Elliptical Galaxies (AAS Meeting)
The Triggering Probability of Radio-Loud AGN (Ohio Unversity Astro Seminar)
Finite Time Differencing: Numerical Algorithms (Computational Phyics Seminar)
Heating and Cooling in Elliptical Galaxies (Thesis Committee Update)
The 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics: Accelerating Universal Expansion (OU Astro Seminar)
Is Molecular Gas Necessary for Star Formation? (OU Astro Seminar)
Quasi-Stars and the Cosmic Evolution of Supermassive Black Holes (OU Astro Seminar)
LSST: AGN and Supernovae (OU Astro Seminar)
Cold Mode Accretion in Galaxy Formation (OU Astro Seminar)
Feedback in Normal Elliptical Galaxies (Doctoral Thesis Prospectus)
Analemma: The Apparent Local Trajectory of the Sun (Computational Phyics Seminar)
X-Ray Measurements of the Mass of M87 (OU Astro Seminar)
Modeling the YORP Effect
Publications & Conference Proceedings:
D. Riethmiller, T.S. Statler. AGN Feedback in Elliptical Galaxies I: Hydro Simulations within a Static Darm
Matter Potential. In preparation.
D. Riethmiller, T.S. Statler. AGN Feedback in Elliptical Galaxies II: Hydro Simulations within a Dynamic
Dark Matter Potential. In preparation.
D. Riethmiller, T.S. Statler. Simulations of Episodic AGN Feedback Conditions in Elliptical Galaxies. AAS
Meeting held January 6-10, 2013 in Long Beach, California. Meeting #221, Session #303.07
T.S. Statler, D. Cotto-Figueroa, D. Riethmiller, K. Sweeney. Size Matters: The Rotation Rates of Small
Near-Earth Asteroids. Icarus, submitted.
T.S. Statler, D. Cotto-Figueroa, D. Riethmiller. The Rotation Rate Distribution of Small Near-Earth
Objects. Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 2008 held July 14-18, 2008 in Baltimore, Maryland. LPI
Contribution No. 1405, paper id. 8359.